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Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center unpacks why women shouldn’t fear mammograms

By: Kayla Belec Last Updated: January 25, 2019

With any health screening, it’s important to make appointments with the mindset of preventing potential risks from escalating.

At Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center of Methodist Hospitals, patients are encouraged to schedule their annual mammograms, regardless of whether they believe breast cancer poses a pressing threat.

When it comes to screening guidelines, NWI Breast Care Center adheres to the American College of Radiology standards, which recommends that women ages 40 and older receive annual screening mammograms. Other associations may publish different standards, so it’s important for women to speak with their doctors about annual screening if they have any doubt about these recommended guidelines. The more women avoid screenings or neglect to prioritize them, the likelier they face a risk of discovering cancer at a later stage, when it’s more difficult to treat.

“We stress the importance of getting regular mammograms because, in the case that we do detect cancer, we’re catching it at its earliest stage and smallest size,” said Dr. Anastasia Siatras, a radiologist with NWI Breast Care Center. “This allows for the best potential for a good outcome and early survival.”

Providing that patients are in sound health and can tolerate surgery and therapy, healthcare professionals at the Breast Care Center will move forward with the best form of treatment possible if cancer is detected. Siatras said that while many women tend to fear appointments, become anxious over the discomfort of mammograms, or fret over whether they can afford them, they should treat the appointment like they would any other check-up.

“There should be no reason for women to worry about mammograms or neglect to get them,” she said. “We have grant programs for women who are uninsured, and they can rest assured that appointments usually turn out OK. As long as they’re getting them regularly, any risks of cancer are being managed.”

Even when annual mammograms turn out negative, women should still perform their own monthly breast exams to feel for lumps.

“Every lump and bump should be taken seriously,” Siatras stressed. “Scares like these usually turn out to be OK, too! But it’s important to have them examined by a professional, because if it is cancerous, we can treat it at its earliest point.”

One in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Getting regular mammograms gives you the best chance to stay ahead of the disease.

For more information on the Northwest Indiana Breast Care Center or to schedule your mammogram today, visit their website.